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60 The negative effects of freight-transportation-related services on nearby land uses include nuisance, health, and safety issues such as air and water pollution, noise, vibration, and light impacts. There are a number of mitigation tools that can be utilized to (1) reduce the effects of being close to freight facilities and corridors and (2) improve development activity (especially for sensitive land uses) to reduce the potential for conflicts to arise. In this chapter, we provide an overview of some mode- specific mitigation activities for airports, railroads, and ports. In addition to these mode-specific approaches, other tools are commonly used to mitigate or minimize conflicts between freight and other types of land uses including layout and design considerations and hazmat considerations. A more detailed discussion of mitigation programs and approaches can be found on the EnvisionFreight website at http://www. EnvisionFreight.com/tools/default.aspx?id=mitigation. Airport Mitigation Programs By far, the most pressing issue that airports face is noise. Incompatible land uses near airports are a major concern and challenge for all airport operations (freight and passenger). These challenges are complicated by multiple layers of over- sight and regulation that cover airports juxtaposed with the goals of many airport operators, commercial carriers, and economic development groups who are often focused on in- creasing revenues and maximizing the utility and operation of the airport. The primary responsibility for integrating airport consider- ations into land-use planning lies with local jurisdictions. This presents difficulties for many airports, because they cannot control development in the surrounding communities and yet are held to account by these communities when airport noise adversely affects nearby uses such as homes, schools, and churches. Examples of airport mitigation programs include â¢ Noise mitigation, â¢ Relocation, and â¢ Community noise round tables. Federal Role FAA governs many aspects of airport activities, including the following: â¢ Developing the national airport system plan, â¢ Airspace authorization, â¢ Air traffic control, â¢ Airport certification, â¢ Aircraft and airline licensing, â¢ Pilot licensing, â¢ Aircraft noise abatement oversight, and â¢ Aircraft safety and security. FAA has set standards for noise levels and has programs that can be utilized to redress these issues. Also, FAA has issued multiple items of guidance regarding noise mitigation and land uses identified as incompatible with airport activities. However, in much the same way as is seen across other freight modes, problems may well arise because the jurisdictional responsibility for implementing land-use planning and zon- ing lies with local jurisdictions that are not necessarily part of any noise reduction or abatement program or involved in planning activities. In 1979, the Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act (49 U.S.C. 47501 et seq.) created the first pilot program where the federal government funded up to 24 noise control plans a year. This was expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, and by the end of the century, the FAA Airport Improvement Program grants totaled over $2.6 billion. The Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 was another pivotal piece of legislation C h a p t e r 8 Mitigation of Conflicts between Freight and Other Land Uses
61 recognizing the need for a national aviation noise policy. A critical part of the statute was direction to eliminate the use of older, noisier âStage 2â aircraft weighing more than 75,000 pounds in the contiguous United States after Decem- ber 31, 1999. The final revision and rules of this act were established in September 1991 as Part 91. Another important element of the noise policy is the Notice and Approval Airport Noise and Access Restrictions, Part 161, which establishes a program for reviewing airport noise and access restrictions on the use of Stage 2 and newer, quieter Stage 3 aircraft. Finally, what is known as the FAAâs Part 150 Program is another critical noise and land-use program. Airport opera- tors develop their own comprehensive noise and land-use compatibility programs under Part 150, which identify noise mitigation projects and procedures to reduce aviation noise. Part 150 is a voluntary program that encourages airport oper- ators to develop noise exposure maps and noise compat- ibility programs. These identify noise contours and land-use incompatibilities. The FAA then determines if the airportâs Part 150 Program is appropriate. Once this is established, an airport operator can apply for grants to fund studies and airport noise compatibility projects. At year-end 2007, there were 271 airports participating in the Part 150 Program, and 238 had an approved noise compatibility program (Federal Aviation Administration 2009a, 2009b). Noise projects include residential and public building sound insulation, land acquisition, and the relocation of residents from areas significantly impacted by noise. As part of this, many airports have acquired noise monitoring equipment and installed noise barriers to reduce ground run-up noise, and have created noise round tables composed of stakeholders from the airport, local politicians, and local residents to ensure that these programs run smoothly. Examples Airport noise mitigation programs have been implemented at multiple airports around the United States. A few examples are provided on the EnvisionFreight website. For example, Louisville, Kentucky, (the third largest all-cargo airport in the United States by landed weight and one of the larger hubs for Fed-Ex and UPS) has an extensive noise mitigation program, a community noise forum, and large noise-based commu- nity relocation programs. The noise mitigation programs for OâHare International Airport in Chicago also are discussed on the website. Railroad Mitigation Activities Railroads have been involved in efforts to reduce the noise and vibration effects of their operations. There also have been efforts by the industry to promote safety and awareness, particularly as is related to grade crossings. Examples of rail- road mitigation programs include â¢ Grade crossing management, â¢ Quiet zones, â¢ Trespass prevention programs, â¢ Operation Lifesaver, and â¢ Canada Proximity website. A few of these measures are discussed here, but a more com- plete discussion can be found on the EnvisionFreight website. Grade Crossing Management A railroad grade crossing is an intersection where a roadway crosses railroad tracks at the same level (grade). According to FRA, there are more than 250,000 grade crossings in the United States. The responsibility for grade crossing safety is shared between the FMCSA, FRA, and FHWA. State DOTs, local jurisdictions, and railroads also are involved in grade crossing safety issues. Railroads own and maintain the tracks, and they own the property on either side of the tracks. At the grade crossings, they install and maintain the tracks and the roadway surface around and between the rails, as well as any traffic control devices on their right-of-way. According to FRA, although the railroad owns the track, the roadway at a crossing is owned by either a public or pri- vate entity. Public crossings are those at which the highway or roadway is under the jurisdiction of, and maintained by, a public authority such as a municipality, county, or state agency. Private crossings are those where the roadway is pri- vately owned (such as on a farm or within an industrial com- plex), is not intended for public use, and is not maintained by a public authority. The roadway owner, public or private, typi- cally maintains the road approaching the crossing on either side of the tracks. FHWA is responsible for public grade crossing issues that affect highway safety. FHWA develops and provides guidelines and standards for the correct design of grade crossings, the assessment of safety at crossings, and the placement of traffic control devices at approaches to grade crossings. Federal law requires that every time a train approaches an at-grade crossing, it must sound its horn. This is for safety reasons and provides a signal to anyone on the grade crossing, or approaching it, that a train is coming. Under the Train Horn Rule (U.S. Department of Trans - por tation 2006), locomotive engineers must sound train horns for a minimum of 15 seconds and a maximum of 20 seconds, in advance of all public grade crossings, except as follows: â¢ If a train is traveling faster than 45 mph, engineers will not sound the horn until it is within one-quarter mile
62 of the crossing, even if the advance warning is less than 15 seconds. â¢ If a train stops in close proximity to a crossing, the horn does not have to be sounded when the train begins to move again. â¢ There is a âgood faithâ exception for locations where en- gineers canât precisely estimate their arrival at a crossing. Wherever feasible, train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of two long, one short, and one long. The horn must continue to sound until the lead locomotive or train car occupies the grade crossing. One of the best ways to address rail/highway grade crossing safety is to reduce the number of at-grade crossings. Railroads actively work to close public and private at-grade crossings where possible, working closely with communities and property owners. Good candidates for closure include grade crossings that are redundant (other crossings nearby allow access to the same roads or areas), are not designated emergency routes, have low traffic volumes, or are private crossings that are no longer needed or used. In addition to safety, some of the main benefits of closing grade crossings are fewer traffic delays, idling cars, and green- house gas emissions. Most importantly for many communities, closing grade crossings also eliminates noise as whistles are no longer sounded. Quiet Zones FRA created a rule for cities to create âquiet zonesâ in which trains are not required to sound their horns at controlled crossings (grade crossings). FRAâs website provides flowcharts for determining whether a city can implement a quiet zone (U.S. Department of Transportation 2010b). Developing a quiet zone is one way a city can mitigate the negative impacts of a freight rail corridor operating near residential areas. Quiet zones are designed to reduce noise around residential areas, schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other noise-sensitive land uses. Grade crossings within one-half mile of another crossing in a quiet zone are to be included within the quiet zone boundary. Once a city has decided to move forward with a quiet zone, it is required under 49 CFR 222.43 to notify the freight rail- road about the intent to establish a quiet zone. Details that must be included within the letter of notice of intent include the crossing ID number, street name and location, type of warning zone devices that will be deployed, and details of the contact person. Cities also must send a notice of establishment of a railroad zone to FRA. A quiet zone is created through the use of safety measures that compensate for the absence of horns. For example, this can be achieved through the use of quadrant barriers that are put in place around the crossing. The use of quadrant barriers provides a community relief from whistles and provides a railroad with continued operational functionality to serve a local customer base. The costs of implementing a quiet zone must be borne by the local jurisdictionâthis includes preliminary engineering, construction, maintenance, and replacement of active warning devices or their components. According to FRA, estimates of costs for quiet zone warning devices, wayside horns, or both, vary dramatically (U.S. Department of Transportation 2010a and 2010b). For example, â¢ Four-quadrant gate system: $300,000 to $500,000; â¢ Basic active warning system (including flashing lights and gates, constant warning time, power-out indicator, and a cabin): $185,000 to $400,000; â¢ Basic inter-connect: $5,000 to $15,000; and â¢ Annual maintenance: $4,000 to $10,000. An example of a four-quadrant gate crossing is found in Figure 8-1. Trespass Prevention Programs One of the major safety issues that occurs because of com- munity proximity to railroads is that of trespass. Railroads across the United States actively discourage trespass on their right-of-way and within their rail yards. Statistics and evidence show that people will frequently use the railroad right-of-way Figure 8-1. Four-quadrant gate grade crossing treatment in Gardner, Illinois (U.S. Department of Transportation 2008b).
63 as a shortcut, often at great danger to themselves. In many communities, schools are found on the other side of the tracks and children will often cross the railroad property as a shortcut. According to FRA, the number of railroad trespass fatalities first surpassed the number of fatalities at highway rail grade crossings in 1997 and continues to be the leading cause of fatalities industrywide. FRA has developed model state legislation covering tres- passing and vandalism on railroad property (U.S. Department of Transportation 2010a). FRA also has a compilation of state laws and regulations affecting highway rail grade crossings (U.S. Department of Transportation 2002). FRA compiled research results in 2007 on trespass on railroad rights of way (U.S. Department of Transportation 2007a). Operation Lifesaver Operation Lifesaver is a non-profit rail safety education organization, whose purpose is to provide public education programs to prevent collisions, injuries, and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and highway-rail grade crossings. Its website can be found at http://oli.org/. Operation Lifesaverâs national office in Alexandria, Virginia, supports state programs, and develops videos, educational brochures, and instruc- tional information. There are state coordinators located in all 50 states. Operation Lifesaver began in 1972 as a joint effort between the Idaho governorâs office, the Idaho Peace Officers, and Union Pacific Railroad. A 6-week public awareness cam- paign was conducted to promote highway-rail grade crossing safety. As a result of the programâs success, similar programs were adopted in Nebraska, Kansas, and Georgia over the next 2 years. Operation Lifesaver spread to other states and, in 1986, the national Operation Lifesaver office was created to help support state efforts and raise national awareness. Operation Lifesaverâs volunteer speakers and instructors offer free rail safety education programs in all states. Programs are conducted for various groups including schools, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement groups, and emergency responders. The Operation Lifesaver programs are co-sponsored by federal, state, and local government agencies; highway safety organi- zations; and railroads. Canada Proximity Website In 2003, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), in col- laboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and the Canadian railroads created an initiative to develop common approaches to the prevention and resolution of issues that arise when people live and work in close proxim- ity to railroad operations. The initiative had four major goals, as follows: 1. Effectively work together, 2. Understand one another, 3. Develop a consistent dispute resolution model for handling complaints by localities and communities regarding freight railroad activities, and 4. Produce materials about freight railroad activities and compatible land uses for local jurisdictions and the general public. As part of this initiative, the Proximity Issues website was created. It can be found at http://www.proximityissues.ca/ english/index.cfm. The website is primarily focused on pro- viding information to the general public with the purpose of avoiding complaints and potential conflicts, or resolving them as best as possible. Since the initiative began and the website was developed, Ontario has adopted provincial guidelines and processes for planning that are based on the output of this initiative. British Columbia also has used the initiativeâs protocols and guidelines for issues relating to overpasses and for dealing with community issues. The proximity initiative is continuing to develop new tools, review issues, and continue its educational and outreach mission. For example, noise and vibration measurement is currently being reviewed with the goal of developing specific guidelines. Different types of materials for mitigation are also being reviewedâfor example, the use of a glass sound wall in Montreal, and different types of âgreenâ walls. The initiative also continues to conduct extensive outreach, giving presenta- tions to local communities to keep the public educated about railroad proximity issues. As a consequence of the proximity initiative, the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railroads developed rail land-use guidelines. The City of Edmonton also undertook a major initiative to amend its zoning code to include a major commercial corridor overlay ordinance. Port and Waterway Mitigation Activities The needs of waterborne transportation include channels and terminals as well as certain types of support infrastructure, such as tie-ups for tugs and barges, fueling facilities, and ship repair facilities. Unlike other transportation modes, it is almost impossible to move these facilities off-site away from the waterfront. Thus, for marine transportation, mitigation options usually entail retrofitting an existing facility instead of relocating it, and developing programs that reduce conflicts with nearby non-freight activities.
64 Deep-water marine ports have been actively developing programs to reduce environmental impacts and improve air quality, and are another good source of information. For example, the Port of Los Angeles developed a Com- munity Advisory Committee with subcommittees on vari- ous issues including air quality, noise, light, and traffic (Port of Los Angeles 2010a). The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey developed a Clean Air Strategy to reduce the portâs polluting activity and its impact on the surrounding neighborhoods (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 2010). Although described as a protection and preservation strategy in Chapter 5, the New York Shipping Association Port Support Zone also can be thought of as an attempt to mitigate the negative effects of port operations. One of the expected benefits of relocating those activities that are able to be located away from the immediate port area was a reduction of negative impacts on surrounding residential areas. Noise Barriers Another set of mitigation tools that has been used to reduce noise and vibration effects are sound walls, beams, and barriers. Sound walls have been used mostly around highways and transit facilities. Noise barriers reduce sound generated by a transportation facility or corridor (e.g., highway) by absorbing the sound, transmitting it, reflecting it, or forcing the sound to take a longer path over and around the barrier. Noise barriers can be constructed from earth, masonry, wood, metal, or other materials. For noise barriers that are designed to alter the path of sound over and around the barrier, the barrier must be tall enough to block the view of the transportation facility from the area that is to be protected (see Figure 8-2), and should be at least eight times as long as the distance from the noise receiver (e.g., home) to the barrier (see Figure 8-3). Figure 8-2. Noise barrier height considerations. Figure 8-3. Noise barrier length considerations (U.S. Department of Transportation 2010).
65 FHWA (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/keep down.htm), FTA (http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_ Noise_and_Vibration_Manual.pdf), and FRA (http://www. fra.dot.gov/Pages/253.shtml) have all developed noise manuals that discuss the use and costs of sound walls. Layout and Design Elements In many instances, poor lot orientation is a primary con- tributor to noise and vibration and other land-use conflicts between freight and other uses. Although it is not optimal to site multi-family residential, educational, medical, or other institutional type facilities such as schools, daycare facilities, and elderly residential facilities adjacent to freight facilities, there are options that could be pursued to offset some of the land-use conflicts that arise between freight and other uses. Lot Layout Often, the placement of residential uses on a lot will lead to residential-freight activity conflicts. Figure 8-4 shows a poor lot orientation adjacent to a freight line that could subject the residents to noise, vibration, and possibly pollutant effects. There are simple steps that can be taken to assist in mitigat- ing conflicts between land use and reducing the opportunities for conflicts to arise. For example, shifting units within the lot so that they are not placed in such proximity to the freight activity could be an important first step to avoid or eliminate conflict. The optimal solution for mitigating or avoiding conflicts in this type of development would require not only garages to be placed to provide a buffer for the noise and vibration, but also the placement of vegetation that could absorb some of the pollutant effect. This would ideally be placed in a non- access easement on the freight facility side of the lot. This can be seen in Figure 8-5. Design Considerations Figure 8-6 shows a poor residential design layout with the living and dining area facing out onto the freight facility/route area without any buffering or other elements to mitigate for conflicts that may arise. This property is also situated far back on the lot, putting it in close proximity to the freight facility. Figure 8-7 shows how an optimal layout with the residential development utilizing similar internal buffering techniques. Here, the property places less-used rooms closer to the freight activity, which increases the space and time that noise has to travel, thus reducing decibel levels. The placement of a non- access easement also shifts the property closer to the front lot lines, which again provides a buffering space for decibel levels to be reduced. Hazmat Issues Hazardous materials are solids, gases, and liquids that can harm people, animals, property, and the environment. Throughout the United States, hazardous materials are moved by marine vessels, air, rail, and truck. Hazmat chemicals that give freight transportation providers the most cause for concern are the toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) materials. Hazardous cargo is often stored for periods of time in freight terminals, rail yards, and port facilities. Poor planning can place residen- tial and other highly sensitive uses far too close to facilities that have hazardous materials. Source: UT-CTR. Figure 8-4. Poor lot orientation.
66 Source: UT-CTR. Figure 8-5. Optimal lot orientation. Source: UT-CTR. Figure 8-6. Poor residential design layout.
67 Hazmat Transportation Federal agencies have issued regulations that require how certain hazardous materials are moved, stored, loaded, and transloaded. Drivers of hazardous materials are required to undergo background checks and obtain a hazmat endorse- ment background check by TSA. States and cities have also designated specific highway routes along which hazardous material can be transported. This includes restricting the types and combinations (especially in bulk) of hazardous mate- rials that can be transported through tunnels. The National Hazardous Materials Designated, Preferred, and Restricted Routes list was last updated in 2009 (U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA 2009). Under the Common Carrier Rule, railroads are required to ship hazardous material (U.S. Department of Transportation 2008a). However, the make-up, general handling, and loading of trains carrying hazardous material are strictly regulated The distances between specific hazmat-placarded cars and tanks along the trainsâ length are regulated by FRA rules. This is espe- cially the case for loading of Class 1 explosive materials, Class 2 gases, and poisonous and radioactive materials. Rules also pro- scribe certain train configurations and how the units are moved around in the rail yards to make up the trains. Some hazardous materials are not allowed to be transported together under any circumstances within the same train compilation. FRA also has issued regulations requiring railroads to perform comprehensive safety and security risk analysis to determine and select routes that pose the least overall risk. The analysis must include 27 risk factors and input provided by state and local governments. Regular safety audits are conducted by FRA to ensure compliance by the railroads (U.S. Department of Transportation 2007b). More informa- tion regarding hazmat transportation by rail can be found on the Association of American Railroadsâ site (Association of American Railroads 2010). Trucks also carry a large portion of hazardous material throughout the United States. The U.S.DOT, FMCSA, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration gov- ern regulations regarding trucking of hazardous materials. One of the main elements required for trucking is the verification of truck drivers by TSA, as part of the implementation of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act also requires drivers who transport hazardous materials to have a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) background check. Port facilities also produce rules that regulate the transport of hazardous materials in their facilities. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, for example, updated its âRedbookâ in 2009 regarding the transportation of hazardous materials by truckers in tunnel and bridge facilities that it operates (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 2009a). More information regarding hazmat transportation by trucks can be found on the American Trucking Associationâs website (American Trucking Associations 2011). The U.S. Coast Guard is the primary government agency responsible for the transportation of hazardous materials Source: UT-CTR. Figure 8-7. Improved residential design layout accompanied with non-access easement.
68 by water. The Maritime Transportation Security Act 2003 laid down new rules for international ship and port facility security, including implementation of the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) Program. This issues a tamper-resistant biometric credential to workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports, vessels, and the outer continental shelf facilities. Under 33 CFR 12.19, the captain of the port is required to issue permits for each occurrence of handing, loading, discharging, or transporting dangerous cargo at the waterfront facility. The permit specifies the limits, quantity, and isolation and remoteness required to handle these materials. The Coast Guard is harmonizing its regulations with the Inter national Maritime Organization International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 regarding maritime bulk solid hazardous materials. This will expand the list of solid hazard- ous materials authorized for bulk transportation by vessel and will create special handling procedures for these hazmat cargos. Air cargo hazmat transportation restrictions apply not just to freight cargo but also to items that passengers and cabin crew bring onto aircraft. TSA is responsible for the screening of passengers and air cargo. International treaties also govern the movement of hazardous materials by air. Figure 8-8 describes the hazmat classes. C LASS N UM BE R C LASS N AM E D IVISIO NS P LACAR D 1 E xpl os iv es 1. 1 M as s e xpl os io n h a zar d 1. 2 B la s t/p roje c tio n h az ar d 1. 3 M i nor bl as t h az ar d 1. 4 M aj or fi re ha za rd 1. 5 B la s tin g a ge nt s 1. 6 E xt reme ly in se ns it iv e e xpl os iv e 2 G ases 2. 1 F la mma bl e g as 2. 2 N onfla mm ab le ga s 2. 3 P ois onous ga s 2. 4 Oxyge n 2. 5 Inhala tio n h az ar d 3 F la mm ab le Li qui ds 3. 1 F la mma bl e 3. 2 C ombus ti ve 3. 3 G as ol in e a nd fuel oi l 4 F la mm ab le So lid s 4. 1 F la mma bl e s ol id 4. 2 S pont an e ous ly co m bus ti bl e 4. 3 D an ge r ous wh en we t 5 O xi di ze rs and Orga ni c Peroxi de s 5. 1 O xi di ze r 5. 2 O rg an ic pe r oxi de 6 P oi s ons an d Inf ect i ous S ubs ta nc es 6. 1 I nha la tio n h az ar d 6. 2 P oi so n 6. 3 T ox ic 7 R ad io ac ti ve Ma te ri al s An y m at er ia l, or co mb in ati on, th at em it s i oni zi ng ra di a tio n > 0. 002 mi cr oc ur ie s p er gr am 8 C o rrosi ve s 8 .1 Ac id s 8. 2 A lk al i (m at er ia ls , l iqui d, or so li d th at ca n d isso lv e s ki n, ti ssu e, or co rrode ce rt ai n m et al s) 9 M is ce ll an e ous S ubs ta nc es th at do not fa ll in to ot he r c at e gorie s Source: Adapted from U.S.DOT, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Figure 8-8. Hazmat classes.
69 Facility Siting Considerations The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was mandated by the Housing Act of 1949 and the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 1441 (a)) to assure that all HUD-assisted projects were located in a safe and healthful environment. Sub-part C of 24 CFR Part 51 provides the regulatory authority for the implemen- tation of this mandate. As part of the implementation, HUD commissioned two extremely useful guidebooks regarding siting of residential projects near hazardous facilities and urban development siting with respect to hazardous commercial/ industrial facilities (Rolf Jensen & Associates 1984; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 1996). These HUD guidebooks create and provide useful guidance to apply a standard method and calculation for determining and establishing an acceptable separation distance (ASD) for different hazardous materials. The applicability of these meth- odologies for any type of development around freight facilities or corridors is considered invaluable for planning departments as they develop comprehensive plans and new zoning changes and for developers as they create plans (sub-division or other) that may be in proximity to a freight facility or freight corridor that serves hazmat manufacture and delivery. The 1984 guidebook provides a series of steps for the planner to use to determine an acceptable separation distance between a hazardous facility and residential development. Seven steps are outlined for data collection and calculation methods. A series of tables also is provided to calculate whether the proposed development falls within the acceptable distance curves created for multiple types of hazardous materials. Figure 8-9 shows the steps involved in conducting a site evaluation. Figure 8-9. Steps to conduct site evaluation review. Source: Adapted from Rolf Jensen & Associates, Urban Development Siting with Respect to Hazardous Commercial/industrial Facilities, 1984.